TOKYO (Reuters) – The 4x400m mixed relay made its debut Friday in Tokyo amid controversy over the opening day of the athletics program, with the United States topping the climate charts in Poland after being disqualified.

This discipline, where teams of two men and two women compete against each other in any order, will be audience favorite in its unique and unexpected form.

But with fans absent due to the Covid-19 pandemic, team members were left to cheer on other athletes at the Olympic Stadium.

The American team, which included Elijah Goodwin, Lena Irby, Taylor Manson and Bryce Dedmon, quickly finished the first lawsuit, but lost the right to change batons outside the transfer area.

“Mistakes happen, we’re human, we can make mistakes. If we get a DQ (disqualification) at the end of the day, I’ll promote our captain because I know we’ve competed in the best possible way,” Goodwin said. “I am proud of all our comrades and women.

“We go out, do our best. It was a complete surprise to all of us. All we can do is prepare for the future and see what happens next.

The United States won the gold when the mixed relay race was first held at the Doha World Cup in 2019, and is the favorite to win the first Olympic gold for the Tokyo event.

The Dominican Republic was also disqualified, despite being eliminated from qualifying for Saturday’s final.

While teams are free to choose any arrangement for their athletes, the majority choose the man to lead the first round, two women for the next two rounds, and a man running with a clenched foot in the relay race.

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Nigeria was the only team to stop things with a male runner in the third stage during the first round.

Samson Nathaniel gave Okan George patiently a 30m lead, but in the final stage of the Nigerian Nigerian relay all men passed comfortably.

Poland tried to go with two men on their first two rounds in Doha, but they didn’t manage to take the risk on Friday.

Darius Kovaluk ran in the first stage, followed by Iga Palmcord-Witten and Malcorsada Holb Kovalik in the final race of Kaztan Duczynski in Poland 3:10,44.

The Netherlands came in second and Jamaica in third place.

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